Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Basic plot

Amy Redwing rescues dogs and she is never conventional in her methods. In her passion to help 'man's best friend' she often finds herself in precarious situations. Along for the ride is her boyfriend, more for moral support than a sidekick. While rescuing these dogs they realize that both of them are also running from a dark past, from which they can only rescue each other.

What I liked about this book

The storyline was quite fast-paced and interesting to read. The author cleverly made sure that the lives of the main characters intertwined. He balanced the fine line between surprising the reader but at the same time, allowing them to appreciate the way the story unfolds by scattering subtle clues for them to notice.

What I disliked about this book

Some of the chapters were a bit too focused on a certain event or scene, though he probably intended it as such to convey the obsession involved. For some reason, the author's excursions into the supernatural in this book did not seem to fit as well as it has in previous books.

A quote I liked in this book

"How much nicer the world would be," she says, "if everyone in it were dead."

Rating: 3.5/5

Monday, May 28, 2012

Oh no! We're too short

Last weekend we headed off to KL since my brother and his family was coming all the way from Sarawak for the school holidays. Since they were scheduled to arrive on Sunday, we had to decide what we were going to do with ourselves on Saturday. 

After a nice breakfast at my favourite roti canai place, Abah decided to take us to Genting. So off we went, through those winding roads. Climbing higher and higher, the kids were so excited to find themselves up in the clouds.

When we arrived, it was quite an ordeal to find parking space, so we settled on a pseudo-parking space instead. Finding the Outdoor Theme Park was no picnic either, I think we probably went the longest and roundabout way possible. But we finally arrived!

We did not have a plan of any kind but basically ran from one ride to another. Of course, with the kids measuring 92cm-118cm, we could not go on ANY of the thrill rides. Thankfully, there were plenty of Kid and Family rides to keep us occupied. It was a fun day for the kids, and the feeling was infectious. Of course, I would have loved to ride the thrill rides too but hopefully when they're tall enough I will not be an ancient old woman yet. The only downside was the waiting time for some of the Family rides but I guess that is normal for any theme park.

The kids had a great time, and I was happy. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lab rats

The first year medical students had their pharmacology lab these past 2 days. As a trainee lecturer I was at hand to help out any way I could. This consisted mostly of answering questions, some of which I knew and some I did not. I do not remember this particular experiment when I was in medical school except that instead of lab rats, my batch used cats. Thankfully, our feline friends are no longer volunteered for this task. 

The thing about experiments is that the results never quite turn out as expected. I think all the trainees had a harder time explaining why things went wrong than we would have had if the results were right. Another recurring theme for these sessions is the fact that despite wearing my ID, medical students love calling me "Kak". Hmmm... I'm beginning to think this will only stop once I start giving lectures. All in all, it was an educational experience for me, and I hope for the students too. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

Basic plot

Mr Ali did not like being retired. It was boring. So he set up a marriage bureau. What better way to find the perfect match for people than to consult Ali's Marriage Bureau for Rich People. Especially since everyone has so many specific requirements. Yes, consulting Mr Ali was a sure way of finding the perfect spouse, even when you're not looking for one.

What I liked about this book

This was a simple, sweet book. The characters were nice, honest people who wanted simple things in life like finding a good husband or wife. Mr Ali, Mrs Ali and his assistant Aruna come off as very pleasant and helpful people, with a positive outlook on life and a good sense of humour regardless of their own troubles. Aruna's story also made me smile.

What I disliked about this book

The subplot regarding Mr Ali's son seemed to disrupt the flow of the story. Otherwise, it was a nice story. Perhaps not spectacular but a light, breezy and simple story.

A quote I liked from this book

It's a dream, and poor people cannot afford dreams.

Rating: 4/5


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